LA GRANGE – Three local Boy Scouts were part of 40,000 Scouts from around the world to take part in the organization’s first gathering at a new 10,600-acre site in West Virginia.
Elliott Marovec and Jordan Dockins, of La Grange, and Matthew Weems, of La Grange Park, left La Grange at 3:30 a.m. July 14 on a 13-hour bus ride to the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, in West Virginia’s New River Gorge region, known for its adventure sports.
During the 10-day camp, the Scouts participated in activities such as mountain biking, shooting sports, kayaking, zip lining, archery, rock climbing, bouldering and skateboarding.
“It was totally worth it, and it was just amazing,” Marovec said. “I would suggest that everyone else who’s in Boy Scouts should do it if they get the chance.”
Marovec woke up at 4:30 a.m. one day to go zip lining, which allowed him to beat the lines.
“My favorite part was probably when I went zip lining,” he said. “Just that feeling in the air going over the summit center.”
Boy Scouts of America hosts a national jamboree every four years, but this was the first one at the new West Virginia site.
Marovec, Dockins and Weems are members of Boy Scout Troop 39. Dockins’ father, Paul, was selected to serve as a scout master at the gathering. For one year leading up to the trip, he led monthly training sessions for the scouts, which involved long treks with their backpacks to prepare for the long hiking journeys.
“Having 40,000 scouts there is amazing in itself,” said Lisa Marovec, Elliott’s mother. “I don’t know where [else] a 13-year-old can do something of this scope that teaches them to be so self-reliant.”